Thursday, February 15, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Richard Evans Mayoral Candidate

I wish to serve our Whitsunday community. I’m a seasoned leader with a 40-year track record in national politics and industry leadership. My leadership skills have developed from service as a federal member of parliament during the Keating-Howard years; championing national and small businesses and industry at a state and national level as Executive Director for the Franchise Council Australia, Australian Retailers Association, Australian Fashion Council, and Clubs Victoria; and my volunteer contribution with local Whitsundays community and cultural groups.

There will always be competing issues to address. The strategic priority is to unite the region. Let’s get a shared view of who we are, what we want to be, what to preserve and where we can progress. Let’s consolidate ideas, learn other perspectives, and set a plan that unites us all. From there, we can move confidentially forward together, taking the Whitsundays from the coffee table to the policy table, and create real positive change and opportunities for everyone.

I believe our community wants to be proud of our region where we live, work, learn, and play – Whitsunday Pride, if you like. Where we all know our rights and are responsible and respectful in looking after each other. That starts from the top, and our community expects integrity – honesty, trust, and transparency, to deliver on what we say – from its elected representatives and Council. That’s where we need to start, the integrity, unity and leadership of Councillors and Council.

First 100 days will include unifying Councillors on priorities, meeting and listening to our community, partnering with the Council CEO on governance frameworks for informed decision making and managing conflicts of interest, internal review of Council, and stakeholder briefings. There will be two major outcomes from the 100 days – (1) Ratepayer Engagement Framework, providing improved pathways for residents to productively engage with Council, and (2) Mayoral Strategy, a public plan for the community to hold me accountable during my term.

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